Innovative Platforms

February 24, 2019

Read The Full Prompt

Digital technologies give rise to a variety of platforms. Uber matches drivers and riders. iTunes makes apps available for iPhone users.

For this assignment, please identify companies/organizations that you think have an innovative platform. Why are they innovative? Discuss the function of the platform, two or three interesting elements of the platform, and highlight the value creation of the platform. If you have room, feel free to make observations about aspects of the value capture strategy, but do not make it central.

Create an approximately 500-600 word post to make your contribution by Sunday, February 24 at 8 p.m.

Please also respond to and comment on three other posts per module. Your comments are due Monday, February 25, at 10 a.m. Feel free to use graphics, data, videos and links to other sites to corroborate your points.

Selected posts will be discussed in class and also featured on the HBS Digital Initiative website.

Please prepare a 2-3 min summary of your blog post before Monday’s class.

Submitted (39)

Collaboration not Competition: Shopify’s eCommerce Platform
Posted on February 17, 2019 at 2:40 pm
Three key features of Shopify's eCommerce platform are mutually reinforcing and create strong network effects for the company. In addition to driving growth for both Shopify and its merchants, these features also enable Shopify to collaborate with other players in [...]
Cornershop: Disruptive Chilean E-Commerce Grocery
Nicolas Khaliliyeh
Last modified on February 21, 2019 at 1:51 pm
On-demand delivery app Cornershop is rapidly growing in Chile and Mexico through its digital expertise, technology, and capabilities changing the way shoppers buy in Latin American.
Kaggle: Building a Market for Data Science (and Scientists)
Walter H. Haydock
Last modified on February 24, 2019 at 3:10 am
Kaggle is an innovative two-sided platform that connects companies facing hard problems with the data scientists who can solve them.
EdX: The Path to Learn for Career
Ge Li
Last modified on February 24, 2019 at 1:26 am
When Harvard and MIT team up with Google, would you still be interested in quitting your full-time job to pursue an advanced degree?
Can short form video sustain a new platform? Quibi believes it can.
Posted on February 19, 2019 at 6:43 pm
Quibi hopes it to use its superstar talent to compete with YouTube and Netflix.
Less is more: Digital Innovation for Financial Inclusivity
Hanif Wicaksono
Last modified on February 17, 2019 at 1:52 am
Financial inclusion services reminds us in order to achieve a successful digital transformation, having a proper contextual understanding is as important as developing the technology itself.
VIPKid – “Ubernization” in EdTech
Li C
Last modified on February 24, 2019 at 10:36 pm
Uber matches drivers and riders. An EdTech startup matches students in China with English teachers in North America via its live streaming platform.
Strava: Out Running the Competition?
Last modified on February 23, 2019 at 8:04 am
Founded in 2009 as an app for only the most serious athletes, Strava has grown to become the number one app for runners and cyclists by building a multi-sided fitness platform.
China’s Healthcare Revolution: WeDoctor
Hung Vo
Last modified on February 24, 2019 at 8:53 pm
Given China's rising health care costs and inequities, this healthcare app is attempting to level the playing field by changing the very nature of personal care.
Posted on February 21, 2019 at 11:00 am
Plaid's two-sided transaction platform
TikTok: A Viral App Among Teenagers
Wendy Chiang
Posted on February 22, 2019 at 1:37 am
TikTok's special algorithms that allow everyone potentially to be famous and its easy-to-make videos features make it go viral among teenagers - just like its videos on the platform. And, It is still rapidly growing all around the world.
Via: a platform revolutionising transportation
Last modified on February 24, 2019 at 2:24 pm
Via's platform is shaking up on-demand transportation in urban markets
Swap your not-so-favorite holiday gifts for things you want or a contribution to a charity!
Last modified on February 28, 2019 at 8:55 pm
A digital treasure hunt and socially responsible answer to thrift stores and garage sales that take payment out of the equation.
Running out of Steam?
Posted on February 24, 2019 at 2:13 pm
Steam has generated immense of amount of value for gamers and video game developers. Could capturing too much of that value lead to its downfall?
Android, Not Just an Operating System
Noga Ratner
Last modified on February 18, 2019 at 11:43 am
With over 2 billion monthly active users in 2017, Android is the largest mobile operating system in the world. But far beyond that, Google’s Android has managed to become one of the most innovative platforms worldwide.
UberEats, DoorDash, Grubhub: Innovations in Restaurant Delivery
Last modified on February 24, 2019 at 4:54 pm
Delivery aggregators have driven immense innovation in the restaurant industry. As the space grows, we examine new innovations including Dark Kitchens, Virtual Assistant ordering, and Geofencing technologies.
theSkimm: making it easier to live smarter
Posted on February 23, 2019 at 4:14 pm
Originally a startup newsletter, theSkimm has now built its own media universe.
Do you TikTok? The world does!!
Gaurav Chawla
Last modified on February 25, 2019 at 9:31 am
2018’s most downloaded app in the US and Europe with roots in China, TikTok is on its way to break all barriers to become a truly global app using AI and machine learning to engage the users around the world. [...]
Rappi: Creating value across 3 dimensions
Daniela Izquierdo
Posted on February 23, 2019 at 5:09 pm
In Colombia the startup Rappi has set its mission to become the everything store of Latin America. Rappi, unlike Amazon, focuses on instant deliveries. Like Amazon they want to have a wide variety of products and services. Currently they will [...]
Twitch: The Future Is Streaming, Live
Marissa Dearing
Last modified on March 4, 2019 at 5:41 pm
Twitch, a wildly popular live-streaming platform for gamers, looks to become the next major broadcaster of our lives
Fitbit Care: Improving Care Delivery in a Digital World
Last modified on February 24, 2019 at 4:40 pm
The new Fitbit Care platform is utilizing data to break down the silos in health care delivery to improve patient outcomes and to provide personalized care.
Li & Fung Digital Platform: Transforming Global Supply Chain
Gregorio Eguiguren
Posted on February 24, 2019 at 3:50 pm
Li & Fung, the Hong Kong-based supply chain and logistics giant, is aiming to digitalize every step of the retail supply chain. The objective is to make data flow seamlessly, providing better visibility to both customers and suppliers around the [...]
The – Managed Marketplaces and the evolution of platforms business models
Last modified on February 24, 2019 at 4:45 pm
Online Marketplaces have been one of the hottest investment’s targets in the last decade. As traditional platforms business they were able to expand and grow quickly in the digital era that we are living leveraging the well know upsides of [...]
onX maps: A GPS app for hunters
Fidel Cashflow
Last modified on February 24, 2019 at 9:21 pm
onX is a one-sided platform for outdoor enthusiasts. It combines GPS technology with public records to provide data in an intuitive, integrated, and visually rich format.